How does hearing loss really affect your life?
Not everyone who has a hearing loss experiences this deficit in the same way. What do we mean by that? To explain this, let’s examine the life of two very different people that experience similar hearing loss.
Mary is in her 60’s and works at a large insurance company in Manhattan. She is married, has 3 kids, and even 2 grandkids! For years now Mary has been missing much of the conversations she has at work, often times asks her husband to repeat things, and has noticed her grandkids are very difficult to understand (they must mumble!).
Mary is very social but has noticed a tendency to avoid large gatherings, movies, plays, etc… All of the things she once enjoyed have now become a burden. It takes a large amount of energy to listen to what everyone is saying and even then she embarrasses herself by responding incorrectly once in a while!
Hearing loss obviously has a large impact on Mary’s life from her work to her home life. If only Mary could hear better (hint: she can!).
Now take Jim, a retired carpenter who lives in rural Pennsylvania with his wife. Jim and his wife, Sarah, enjoy their retirement by spending time on their respective hobbies, woodworking for Jim and gardening for Sarah. Most days they spend apart, and alone, enjoying their hobbies. When not enjoying their hobbies they watch TV, go to the local bar, and occasionally go on road trips around the US.
Jim has a hearing loss much like Mary’s, and his wife, Sarah knows it. She often finds herself repeating things, but Jim couldn’t be happier! He has always liked spending time alone working on his creations and often times isn’t bothered by his hearing loss. Jim’s wife has learned to live with it and while it can be annoying at times, they usually spend time alone and Jim has a device which helps him hear the TV.
Both people from these stories share the same hearing loss, but have far different lifestyles, values, etc… Mary would benefit greatly from hearing aids and she is beginning to realize it. Jim on the other hand may not be so excited to get hearing aids considering his lifestyle.
If you suspect you may have a hearing loss, take a look at your life and your everyday interactions. Would the ability to hear better improve your quality of life? Many times the answer is yes, however there are plenty of people who go without hearing aids and do just fine (according to them!)
Which are you?